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1Rehoboʹam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. 2And when Jeroboʹam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt, whither he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboʹam returned from Egypt. 3And they sent and called him; and Jeroboʹam and all Israel came and said to Rehoboʹam, 4“Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke upon us, and we will serve you.” 5He said to them, “Come to me again in three days.” So the people went away.

6Then King Rehoboʹam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” 7And they said to him, “If you will be kind to this people and please them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants for ever.” 8But he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. 9And he said to them, “What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father put upon us’?” 10And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Thus shall you speak to the people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but do you lighten it for us’; thus shall you say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins. 11And now, whereas my father laid upon you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.’ ”

12So Jeroboʹam and all the people came to Rehoboʹam the third day, as the king said, “Come to me again the third day.” 13And the king answered them harshly, and forsaking the counsel of the old men, 14King Rehoboʹam spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.” 15So the king did not hearken to the people; for it was a turn of affairs brought about by God that the Lord might fulfil his word, which he spoke by Ahiʹjah the Shiʹlonite to Jeroboʹam the son of Nebat.

16And when all Israel saw that the king did not hearken to them, the people answered the king,

“What portion have we in David?

We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.

Each of you to your tents, O Israel!

Look now to your own house, David.”

So all Israel departed to their tents. 17But Rehoboʹam reigned over the people of Israel who dwelt in the cities of Judah. 18Then King Rehoboʹam sent Hadorʹam, who was taskmaster over the forced labor, and the people of Israel stoned him to death with stones. And King Rehoboʹam made haste to mount his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. 19So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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